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The National Music of America. 35
With the " Bay Psalm-book," this custom of lining-out, sometimes also called " deaconing " the Psalm, began.
"The Bay Psalm-book" (in Boston and vicinity, at least), practically supplanted Ainsworth at once and for ever. The book was the first volume printed in the colonies, although Day, its printer, had issued two unimportant publications before it.1 The translation was made by various clergymen of the colony (there were about thirty learned ministers here in 1636), but Rev. Thos. Weld, Rev. John Eliot (of Roxbury), and Rev. Richard Mather (of Dorchester) were the chief workers in the field. The faults of two of the poets were summed up in a neat verse by Mr. Shepard, of Cambridge, as follows:
" You Roxbury poets, keep clear of the crime Of missing to give us a very good rhyme.
1 The first was the " Freeman's Oath " (a " broadside "), the second an almanac for 1639, calculated for New England.